I understand why young people are interested in talking to older people who have jobs in fields they would like to enter, but they really need to be prepared when they make contact. I work for the federal government and now more than ever I’m asked by a friend or a relative to talk to some young person who wants to work for my agency. Every time I’ve spoken to one of them, I’ve been disappointed by their lack of preparation. Roze, you worked for the federal government. You must have gotten similar requests. What are your thoughts about this?
Unimpressed with Job seekers
Dear Unimpressed with Job seekers:
I still get those calls and, at times, have had experiences similar to yours. Without question, job seekers should be as well-prepared for informational discussions as they would be for job interviews. In addition to answering their questions and providing them with valuable information about my work experience, I also urge them to prepare for their future informational discussions as if they were actual job interviews.
You’ve probably heard similar complaints, so I’d like your take on this. My boss has organized a softball team to play in a league with other companies we typically compete against. It takes up a lot of our personal time – nights and weekends. He pushes us to bring our families, thinking it will make it less of an inconvenience and more enjoyable; but I’d prefer to go home at the end of the day and spend time with my family. Those of us who don’t want to play are too chicken to say anything because we know how competitive he is and we’re afraid it could hurt our careers. What would you do?
Prefer being with family
Dear Prefer being with family:
If I did not want to participate in the league, I would communicate that to my boss only if I was confident that he would be okay with it. Before approaching him, I would assess how he would perceive and react to such a request. If I sensed that it could negatively affect my relationship with him and, consequently, my career, I would forego my preference and make the best of the situation. I would remind myself that it is not a year-round event and support my family’s attendance if that is what they wanted to do with their free time.
I’m dreading the possibility of running into a person who blew me off TWICE. I asked her to meet with me to discuss our mutual business interests, and even though she graciously said yes, she managed to be a no-show for one and cancel right before the second one without any kind of explanation. To my dismay, I’m attending a business function where she will be as well. I don’t respect her and wish I could say something but I know that would be pointless. Help!
Dreading possible encounter
Dear Dreading possible encounter:
I sympathize with you, however; it is important for you to move on but not forget what happened to you. If you run into this person, be as professional and respectful as you would be under normal circumstances so that if there is even a slight chance that she can have an effect on your business, it will not be negative.
© 2010 Rozanne R. Worrell